Out of sight, but Andre 3000 is certainly not out of mind. It's been a full decade since the revered lyricist released his first and only solo project -- 'The Love Below,' packaged as an OutKast double-album alongside Big Boi's 'Speakerboxxx' -- but the anticipation for a sequel will always be endless.
Let's just look back to early August: when BET executive Stephen Hill tweeted that Andre told him backstage at a Lil Wayne show in Washington D.C. that he's got a new solo album coming at the top of next year, rap fans' eyes lit up in unison. That was, of course, until the rapper's reps had to be a buzzkill about it and tell Billboard, "there is no official confirmation on that report." Jerks.
Even when new hope like this always seems to fizzle out, a new Andre 3000 album is a prospect that people can't help but to get all hysterical over.
The Hip-Hop Gods aren't such evil and merciless creatures, though. In the years since OutKast last released an album -- 'Idlewild,' which arrived in 2006 (word to the wise: don't even think about getting your hopes up for a new 'Kast album) -- 3 Stacks has sprinkled the game with guest verses, just to remind folks what's what.
Here, we look back and rank the 20 best Andre 3000 guest verses since 'Idlewild.'
Chris Brown Feat. Drake, T.I., Kanye West, Fabolous, Rick Ross & Andre 3000 'Deuces (Remix)' (2010)
There were a handful of variations of Chris Brown's 'Deuces (Remix),' but the official version boasted an all-star lineup of Drake, T.I., Kanye West, Fabolous, Rick Ross and Andre 3000. In retrospect, the song was a pretty accurate timestamp of where each MC was at that time: Drake, weeks after the release of his Billboard-topping debut album, 'Thank Me Later,' was still an emotional wreck; Kanye West was bitter and cursing — an attitude he wouldn't shake off on 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'; and Andre, meanwhile, was a little rusty having made only one appearance in the last two years. While his jittery flow didn't quite hit its stride, there were flashes of brilliance, like this multi-line double entendre:
Best Line: "But enough to know tonight excited she came four/ Times to my cousin's house to see if I was there/ Get ya minds out the gutter, man"
John Legend Feat. Andre 3000 'Green Light' (2008)
Andre 3000 may not be the womanizer that many other rappers claim to be, but that doesn't mean his game isn't on-point. On John Legend's zipping 'Green Light,' the ATLien gave a masterclass in picking up chicks. The only thing more impressive than his way with women was his freestyling (or should we say "stylefreeing").
Best Line: "I'm just stylefreeing, freestyling which I seldom do/ This is what I'm tellin you, to the bed I'm nailing you/ Like I've been in jail for two, years and then they let me loose"
Fonzworth Bentley Feat. Andre 3000 & Kanye West ‘Everybody’ (2008)
Go ahead; laugh at Fonzworth Bentley's short-lived relevance. But for a guy who hit fame for being Diddy's sharply-dressed personal assistant and that random dancing dude in Puff's 'D.I.D.D.Y.' and Usher's 'Yeah!' videos, among others, Fonzworth can still brag about having a song with motherfucking Kanye West and Andre 3000. In the same year in which '808s & Heartbreak' split fans, 'Everybody' will always be special for how Yeezy took it back to his 'College Dropout'-roots with a soulful hook. But it was Andre who stole the show with another sweet and silky serenade that heard him use both his intellect and bravado to show off.
Best Line: "All the girls are waiting to see which one he pulls/ Eenie meenie miney meenie prenuptial"
Ke$ha Feat. Wiz Khalifa, Andre 3000, T.I. & Lil Wayne 'Sleazy (Remix 2.0)' (2011)
Despite being held as a demigod to rap purists, Andre himself clearly isn't as picky when it comes to collaborations. Case in point: he helped Wiz Khalifa, T.I. and Lil Wayne remix a song called 'Sleazy' by the positively trashier version of Britney Spears known as Ke$ha. In his familiar watch-me-rip-a-pop-song-with-real-fucking-bars way, 3 Stacks delivered a colorful verse that gave estranged fathers a pass, and made it socially acceptable for hip-hop heads to have one (just one) Ke$ha song in their Serato.
Best Line: "I call her Ke$ha, she like it because it's hood to her/ She call me Andre 6000 because I'm good to her"
Rich Boy Feat. Andre 3000, Jim Jones, Murphy Lee, Nelly & The Game ‘Throw Some D’s (Remix)’ (2007)
In the same vein as his earlier appearance on Unk's 'Walk It Out (Remix),' Andre 3000 unexpectedly popped up on another one hit wonder to steal the show. Rich Boy's (remember him?) 'Throw Some D's (Remix)' was much heavier populated than Unk's respective smash, with Jim Jones, Murphy Lee, Nelly and The Game all adding their flavor to Polow Da Don's crunk bounce, but that only meant more notches on 3 Stack's belt. Setting proceedings off, Dre admits that he turned out pretty good for a guy from the hood, but that doesn't mean he isn't an evil son of a bitch:
Best Line: "Yeah, yeah your partner got away but now he vegetable-like/ So, so I sent his mom and dad a whole case of V8"
Drake Feat. Lil Wayne & Andre 3000 'The Real Her' (2012)
After guesting on Lil Wayne's 'Tha Carter IV' in 2011, Andre 3000 made a surprise appearance on another Young Money star's album — Drake's 'Take Care' — just months later. The trio joined forces for a stripper anthem, but not like you'd expect. The solemn, slimmed-down 'The Real Her' approached strippers with the emotional sensitivity rarely seen in rap, and that's thanks to compassionate rhymes like, "quote-unquote 'bad bitches' work the whole floor/ Those that get laughed at sit off in the corner" from 3 Stacks. Simply put, Andre beat Aubrey at his own game.
Best Line: "N----s that are married don't wanna go home/ But we look up to them, they wish they were us/ They want some new trim, we lust for some trust"
Young Jeezy Feat. Jay Z & Andre 3000 'I Do' (2011)
Four years after his show-stealing verse on UGK's 'International Players Anthem (I Choose You),' marriage was still on Andre Ben's mind. He was a little quicker to commit on Young Jeezy's 'I Do,' though, rushing to get down "on this nasty carpet Bixby fresh on one knee" and pop the question to a pretty young thing. Thanks to an equally stellar verse from Jay Z, 3 Stacks didn't run away with the best verse honors so easily on this one.
Best Line: "Crazy I tell you all of this in the middle of a club/ Where words tend to get thrown around lightly like like, like-like, love"
Big Boi Feat. Andre 3000 & Sleepy Brown 'Lookin' For Ya' (2010)
Two years after 'Royal Flush' hit the 'net, another attempted Big Boi and Andre 3000 collaboration for 'Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty' surfaced, 'Lookin' For Ya.' The Sleepy-Brown harmonized cut, that sounded like a synth-fuelled journey into outer space, saw Antwan Patton and Andre Benjamin trade verses like it was 'Aquemini' all over again. From beginning to end, 3 Stacks gripped listeners with a wild, sexual anecdote, that began with a "revolutionary idea," but ended with him despising her pedestrian musical tastes.
Best Line: "But she don't understand that I'm a fan of Steely Dan/ And she like everything that's on the radio and I demand she change it"
Lil Wayne Feat. Tech N9ne & Andre 3000 'Interlude' (2011)
It's ironic that 'Tha Carter IV,' Lil Wayne's least lyrical album, would contain a track tag-teamed by two of hip-hop's fiercest spitters. For reasons still unknown, the record included three 'Interludes': the intro handled by Wayne on his own, the outro closed out by Bun B, Nas, Busta Rhymes and a Rick Ross-impersonating Shyne, and a mid-album interval that pitted Tech N9ne against Andre 3000. Hearing the Kansas City MC rip the beat to shreds while predicting most listeners won't even know he is was incredible in its own right, but there was something even more menacing about how Mr. Benjamin shed his humility to casually declare "it's the pharaoh, 3 Stacks."
Best Line: "It’s the pharaoh, 3 Stacks/ I woke up in Cairo/ Lookin’ at stars so bright in the sky I thought they were marbles"
Beyonce Feat. Andre 3000 'Party' (2011)
If you ignore 'The Art of Storytellin' Part 4,' Beyonce's 'Party' is the closest thing to an OutKast record we've heard in years — sonically speaking. Kanye West's rubbery synths and cartoonish bounce sounded like the lost stepping stone between 'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below' and 'Idlewild.' As for Andre 3000, he caught the perfect balance between a fun, slippery flow and poignant statements by rapping, "Never thought that we could become someone else's hero/ Man, we were just in the food court eating our gyros." It goes without saying, Bey killed it, too.
Best Line: "Set the scene, 3000 degrees/ I ain't worried about them fuck n----s over there but they worry about me"
Frank Ocean Feat. Andre 3000 'Pink Matter' (2012)
'Pink Matter' was truly a coming-together of rap and R&B's finest talents. On 'Pink Matter,' one of the many standouts on his universally acclaimed 'channel ORANGE' album, Frank Ocean's contemplative thoughts slowly built towards a climax, where funky, neck-snapping riffs opened the floodgates for Andre 3000's silver tongue. Every 3 Stacks verse deserves an introduction like this. Disappointingly, Andre would later dismiss Big Boi's unofficial 'Pink Matter' remix and, once again, dash hopes of an OutKast reunion.
Best Line: "Well frankly when that ocean so muhf--king good/ Make her swab the muhf--king wood/ Make her walk the muhf--king plank/ Make her rob a muhf--king bank"
Rick Ross Feat. Andre 3000 'Sixteen' (2012)
It's not exactly a bad thing for an Andre 3000 fan "when sixteen ain't enough." A majestic, eight-minute centerpiece to Rick Ross' 'God Forgives, I Don't' LP, 'Sixteen' saw 3 Stacks expressing himself in full eccentricity; he sang, he rapped and he even played the banjo (according to Ross). It's no surprise to learn that 'Sixteen' was recorded while Andre was busy in Ireland channeling the spirit of Jimi Hendrix for that perpetually-stalled biopic.
Best Line: "How's he God if he lets Lucifer let loose on us?/ That noose on us won't loosen up, but loose enough to juice us up"
Devin the Dude Feat. Snoop Dogg & Andre 3000 'What a Job' (2007)
It's not that Devin the Dude and Snoop Dogg didn't bring it on 'What a Job,' it's just that Andre 3000 took things to that next level. While the stoner pair rhymed about the fairly obvious ups and downs of being a rapper, 3 Stacks specifically attacked music piracy with a poetic analogy ("So if I come to your job, take your corn on the cob/ And take a couple kernels off it that would be alright with you?"). And if you weren't feeling guilty enough already, Andre Ben then beautifully recounted a real-life anecdote to explain that he doesn't rap for the spoils, but to touch people. And that's exactly what he did here.
Best Line: "See we do it for that boy that graduated/ That looked you in your eyes real tough and said, ''preciate it'"
Unk Feat. Andre 3000, Jim Jones & Big Boi 'Walk It Out (Remix)' (2006)
Who would have thought a snap anthem would produce one of the finest lyrical showings of the '00s? Just weeks after the release of 'Idlewild' in the summer of '06, Andre 3000 joined Jim Jones and OutKast partner Big Boi on the remix to Unk's ringtone rap favorite, 'Walk It Out.' And what 3 Stacks did with his semi-condescending opening verse was something else: he basically snuck into the party just so he could shake his head at everyone's baggy white tees and plastic cars.
Best Line: "Your white tee, well, to me look like a nightgown/ Make your moma proud take that thang two sizes down"
Big Boi Feat. Raekwon & Andre 3000 ‘Royal Flush’ (2008)
Exactly 10 years after 'Skew It on the Bar-B,' Big Boi, Andre 3000 and Raekwon reconnected to restore that feeling with 'Royal Flush.' The track was released almost two years before Daddy Fat Sax's solo album, 'Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty,' eventually arrived, but thanks to Jive allegedly blocking any Dre features, the cut never made it to the LP. That hardly stopped heads from enjoying the shit out of it, though. Following Big Boi and Rae's brief yet sharp opening verses, 3 Stacks manned the final minute-and-a-half by offering powerful perspective on the trap, with references to Big Rube, Nintendo Wiis and the Hokey Pokey.
Best Line: "I don't slang, never slung, but I'm one with the slum/ That has a name well fitting, plenty cheese getting/ No wonder why they call it the trap, so watch your tail"
Gorillaz Feat. Andre 3000 & James Murphy 'DoYaThing' (2012)
'DoYaThing' may have been released to promote Gorillaz's limited edition Converse shoe, but it was one of the most eclectic and exciting collaborations of 2012. Gorillaz, Andre 3000 and LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy all joined in unison for a catchy, pulsating jam. 3 Stacks even assisted Damon Albarn and Murphy with the singing duties before diving into a stunningly dexterous verse at the snap of his fingers. Name-dropping Willie D, Scarface and Slick Rick, he delivered one of his most breathless verses to date on an alternative rock record. Andre Benjamin, ladies and gentlemen.
Best Line: "N----s talking about, 'Oh, he don't rap enough'/ But ya'll rap-a-lot and I'm like, 'rap it up, ho'"
Jay Z Feat. Andre 3000 & Ice Cube '30 Something (Remix)' (2007)
'30 Something,' one of the hidden gems tucked away on Jay Z's 2006 LP, 'Kingdom Come,' was all about maturity. Thanks to DJ Greg Street, two more wise men, Andre 3000 and Ice Cube, kicked knowledge over the classy Dr. Dre beat. But wheras Hov and Cube — being Hov and Cube — waved their cubans around while sneering at the young'uns' blunts, 3 Stacks instead showed sympathy towards the foolishness of today's youth. From high school dropouts to drug addicts, Mr. Benjamin appealed for them all with an endearing first verse.
Best Line: "Rapper's really getting paid in full/ So full that the kid's don't go to school in hopes of becoming one of us"
T.I. Feat. Andre 3000 'Sorry' (2012)
T.I. had been hounding Andre 3000 for a feature for years (he told VIBE back in 2010 that he wanted him on 'No Mercy'), and he finally got his wish on last year's 'Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head.' Dre co-anchored 'Sorry,' a reflective record on which he issued a public apology to his rap partner Big Boi for backing out of a tour six years ago. Of course, this particular line grabbed all the attention — which is a shame, because Tip delivered arguably the best verses of his career, too — but Andre was humble and gentle in victory. "I [told T.I.] 'please stop saying that man, because it is not true!' I wouldn't have written the verse that was on there if it wasn't for T.I.," he told Fuse.
Best Line: "And this the type of shit that'll make you call your rap partner/ And say I'm sorry I'm awkward, my fault for fuckin' up the tours"
DJ Drama Feat. OutKast & Marsha Ambrosius 'The Art of Storytellin' Part 4' (2007)
Nine years after Aquemini's two original installments, Andre 3000 proved he hadn't lost any of that magical narrative on 'The Art of Storytellin' Part 4,' which appeared on DJ Drama's 'Gangsta Grillz: The Album.' In the same year in which Fat Joe and Lil Wayne's 'Make It Rain' was still one of the hottest records on the planet, Andre Ben once again swam against the current trend (pun intended). He even flipped the title of Joey and Wayne's song to strengthen his case, which was both incredibly vivid ("Umbilical attached to a place that can't afford/ No landscaping, or window draping") and perfectly simple ("how dare I throw it on the floor/ when people are poor").
Best Line: "She said, 'Why in the club, you don't make it precipitate? You know, make it rain when you can make it thunderstorm?'/ I'm like, 'Why?" The world needs sun, the hood needs funds'"
UGK Feat. OutKast 'International Players Anthem (I Choose You)' (2007)
UGK and OutKast (and Three 6 Mafia, if you're giving props to the producers) crafted arguably the greatest southern rap collaboration of all time in 2007. And the shining moment — the bride of the track, if you will — on 'International Players Anthem (I Choose You)' was Andre 3000's beautiful opening speech. While Pimp C, Bun B and Big Boi waxed poetic about pimpin', 3 Stacks bravely entered married life to the backdrop of a soulful chorus and ceremonious brass. Never afraid to go against the grain this guy.
Best Line: "You sure? Fuck it/ You know we got your back like chiroprac-tic"